Ramen Bar Goku in Glebe in early 2017. It’s owned by the same people behind Menya Noodle Bar, a favourite for a quick meal, so we were eager to try it out. Unfortunately, it’s closed on Mondays, T’s day off, so N and I made our way there ourselves much to the envy of T who enjoys ramen more than the rest of us.
On the busy strip of restaurants on Glebe Point Road, Ramen Bar Goku sees lines through the door during lunch hour. The interior is wooden with lanterns brandishing ‘ramen’ in Japanese.
This is the most basic ramen on their menu, Goku Ramen ($11.90) in a miso-based chicken broth with egg noodle, roasted pork, bamboo shoots, shallots, sesame and seasoned boiled egg.
You’ll recall that I’ve never been much of a fan of ramen, finding it decent and enjoyable but nothing I’d ever crave. This, however, is easily the ramen most suited to my tastes. The chicken based miso broth is rich and flavourful but the true standout is the noodles, which have a delectable bite and taking on some of the flavour of the broth. The sesame seeds are very fragrant, the egg is perfectly gooey inside, and the bamboo shoots add a crunchy freshness to the bowl. The roasted pork is a bit dry compared to Ippudo.
N tries the same ramen in a soy-based chicken broth. She finds the ramen comforting in a simple satisfying way, although found the broth to be a tad salty by the end and would’ve enjoyed more vegetables and bamboo shoots to balance the saltiness.
On a second visit, I try the Black Garlic Ramen ($12.90) with a salt based chicken broth. It’s egg noodle with roasted pork, bamboo shoots, shallots, sesame, fresh garlic and homemade caramelised garlic oil.
There is no doubting that this is a black garlic ramen — you can smell the fragrant aroma of the garlic before your taste buds get anywhere near it. It’s immensely pleasant, and the noodles are generous and have the same consistently delectable bite to them that set them apart from other ramen joints. The pork on this second visit is tender and juicy and no longer dry like on the first visit.
N eyes the Katsu Don ($12.90) on the first visit but restrains herself to their signature ramen. This second visit though is fair game. The katsu don is deep fried chicken cutlet with egg, onion, carrot, shallots and sesame on rice.
A common experience with katsu don has been soggy crumb on the pork, and unfortunately, this is no different and results in a general ‘mush’ texture for the bowl along with the runny egg, which was a tad salty. That said, the serving was generous and the seasoned rice added flavour.
Ramen Goku has the accolade of serving the first ramen that I’ve actually wanted to return to enjoy again. The non-ramen items may be hit-or-miss but their signature ramen items are something to return for.
Ramen Bar Goku is located at 30 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe NSW 2037.